The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has suspended permits for 17 bars, including one in Laredo, for violating protocols designed to delay the spread of COVID-19.
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The Laredo Siete Banderas bar was suspended for a period of 30 days after a covert inspection by TABC agents.
The requirements that TABC agents were seeking in undercover inspections include 50 percent in-house customer capacity limits for bars and 75 percent for restaurants. Establishments are also required to guarantee at least six feet between groups of clients.
“Protecting the health and safety of Texans during this pandemic is our top priority,” said TABC Executive Director Bentley Nettles.
“We warn companies that TABC will have no tolerance for breaking the rules, and now some bars are paying the price. I hope other establishments will learn from these suspensions.”
It is unknown at this time which protocol was violated by the Laredo bar.
The news follows the closure of Bar Nido in northern Laredo last Wednesday after a positive case of coronavirus was recognized in one of its employees. While the shutdown was not mandatory by TABC, it is another example of the continuing effect that COVID-19 is having on Laredo’s nightlife.
The first violation of one bar will result in a license suspension of up to 30 days and the second will result in a suspension of up to 60 days, the commission said.
As for Tuesday morning, no other Laredo bar appears to be affected by the undercover investigation. Also, no other bar has announced closings due to COVID-19.
Three permits were suspended on Friday, followed by two on Saturday and seven on Sunday. On Monday, five bars, including Siete Banderas, were added to the list.
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The companies issued an emergency order for a 30-day permit suspension are:
Burnhouse, San Antonio
La Cantina (W. Exchange Ave.), Fort Worth
Soho Ballroom, Austin
Siete Banderas, Laredo
Electric Cowboy, Longview
Handlebar Houston, Houston
BARGE 25, Seabrook
Harris House of Heroes, Dallas
New public relations, Fort Worth
Impossible (West 6th), Austin
Little Woodrow’s, Lubbock
Cocos, El Paso
Buford’s Backyard Beer Garden, Austin
Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot Icehouse, Austin
Werk Bar, El Paso
Marty’s Live, Dallas
Elevated Nightclub, McAllen
LMT reporter Louis San Miguel contributed to this story.